SOLID UNDERCARD STAKES PEPPER VIRGINIA DERBY DAY PROGRAM
Posted on September 7th, 2023
Patricia’s Hope’s Nobals, winner of six stakes including the G2 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes at Churchill Downs May 6, leads a field of 10 horses entered in Saturday’s $150,000 Korbel Da Hoss Stakes at Colonial Downs, one of six turf stakes on the New Kent County Virginia Day program. The six stakes races combined feature purse money of $1.3 million. There are 11 races on the Saturday card which starts at 1:30 P.M.
Nobals is a Larry Rivelli trainee who is eight for 16 lifetime with earnings of $843,274. The 4-year-old Noble Mission gelding was second most recently in the G3 Troy Stakes at Saratoga and just prior, scored in the William Garrett Handicap at Horseshoe Indianapolis. Nobals will be ridden by Pablo Morales from post eight.
Philip Gleaves, Joseph Straus Jr. and Hugh Fitzsimons’ Yes and Yes has finished second in three different stakes this year — the Select Stakes at Monmouth, Van Clief at Colonial and Elusive Quality at Belmont. The 7-year-old Sidney’s Candy gelding was runner-up in the 2022 Da Hoss Stakes and on June 10 this year, competed in the G1 Jaipur at Belmont. The David Donk trainee will leave from post six with Jose Gomez up.
Penny Lauer’s Strong Tide and Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s Temple both bring impressive credentials into the $150,000 Biosaphe Colonial Cup which attracted a field of 11 that will battle over 1½ miles.
The former is fresh off a win in the Bucchero Handicap at Horsehoe Indianapolis and earlier this year took an impressive third in the G1 Man o’War Stakes at Belmont. The 6-year-old English Channel gelding also competed in the G1 Arlington Million August 12 in New Kent where he finished ninth. The latter has been stakes placed in four of his last eight including a win in the G2 Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream Park in March 2022 and a runner-up in the G3 Sycamore last October. The Mike Maker trainee has just one start this year. The pair will be ridden respectively by Cristian Torres and Jose Ortiz and will leave from posts nine and six.
Head of Plains Partners’ Sy Dog should also attract attention from bettors. The Graham Motion trainee won the G3 Transylvania Stakes last year as a 3-year-old and though he has not won since, had solid outings in a pair of Grade 1 races, the Belmont Derby and Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes. Most recently, the Slumber colt took second in the John’s Call Stakes at Saratoga August 23. Flavien Prat will ride from post 10.
The $125,000 Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes is for 2-year-olds and has attracted a field of 11 sprinters. Bregman Family Racing and WWBD’s No Nay Mets is the only entrant that has a stakes victory on his resume. The George Weaver trainee powered home to a 5-1/2 length triumph in the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth July 30 and started his career with a similar style victory in the Royal Palm Juvenile Stakes at Gulfstream. Paco Lopez will direct the No Nay Never colt from post five.
Ray Pennington’s King Kontie also brings stakes experience to the table. The Karakontie gelding broke his maiden in dominating gate-to-wire fashion by 5½ lengths at Colonial July 14 and followed with a third in the Hickory Tree Stakes in New Kent three weeks later. The Ollie Figgins trainee will leave from post 10 with Fredy Peltroche in the irons.
The $125,000 TAA Kitten’s Joy Stakes has attracted the largest field of the six offerings. Thirteen 2-year-olds will compete 1-1/16 miles, and all but one has a win in their portfolio. Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Triple Espresso, trained by Todd Pletcher. The Omaha Beach colt will make his career bow from post three with Jose Ortiz aboard.
Eight of the others collected maiden-breaking wins at Colonial Downs this summer including Respect the Valleys’ Massif, who took second in his debut at 5½ furlongs July 14 then surged home to a 7¼- length performance at the one-mile distance August 5. Jevian Toledo has the mount for trainer Brittany Russell from post nine.